I just went to see a very traditional festival organised here in Basel before the annual Carnival (Fashnacht) in March. It was intriguing and interesting – especially the long termness of the whole event. I went with a colleague who is an active participant of the carnival (more about that later!)
“Vogel Gryff’ is the name of the traditional festival organised by the three Honourable Societies (Ehrengesellschaften) of Kleinbasel, which are called “zum Rebhaus”, “zur HÃ¤ren” and “zum Greifen”. Its date alternates an a three-year cycle between 13, 20 and 27 January.
On the day of the festival, the three heraldic figures “Vogel Gryff'(Griffin), “Wild Maa” (Wild Man) and “Leu” (Lion), accompanied by three drummers,three standard-bearers and four jesters, who collect money for the needy, parade through Kleinbasel, the part of the city that lies on the right-hand bank of the Rhine, performing their traditional dances along the way.